Mercedes-Benz Debuts Electric SUV for 2020

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Mercedes-Benz just debuted the 2020 EQC 400 4Matic. This all-electric SUV won’t hit American dealers until sometime in 2020. But it offers less range and lower performance than competitors already on the market.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

The EQC 400 4Matic is based on the current Mercedes GLC 300 4Matic crossover SUV platform. Besides a chrome grille, LED headlights, a backlight badge, a new wheel design, and some new EQ badging, the new SUV’s exterior looks very similar.

Inside, however, is a plethora of high-tech digital screens and LED lighting accents that quickly let you know you’re in something new and special. The EQC 400 will be the first in a full line of new all-electric products under the Mercedes-Benz product and technology brand EQ.

“EQ” is a play on “IQ” (intelligence quotient), denoting “electric intelligence.” Production of this new all-electric SUV will start in 2019 on the same production line as the C-Class and GLC vehicles in Germany — hence the “C” in the name.

Range Anxiety

One major obstacle all-electric cars must overcome is range anxiety. It’s not like you can just spend five minutes at the pump and refuel like a normal car.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC interior

The new EQC 400 should have a range of about 200 miles. That isn’t awful, but it does lag behind competing vehicles already available. Both the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X 75D offer a 240-mile range.

Mercedes hasn’t said how long it will take to charge the EQC’s 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-battery pack on normal AC chargers. But it has said that with the EQC’s standard DC fast charge system the battery can be brought from 10 to 80 percent in about 40 minutes. This is on par with the current crop of electric SUVs on the market.

The brand knows that range anxiety is an issue. To help, it has incorporated a special navigation system into the EQC. It creates the most efficient route to your destination by factoring in the current range, energy consumption, environmental factors, current traffic, and available charging station locations.

Mercedes 2020 EQC 400 4Matic Performance

You’d expect a car that’s hitting the market over a year from now to be more powerful and faster than present-day offerings. Sadly, the new EQC 400 generally falls short of the current crop of all-electric SUVs on the market.

The EQC will offer 402 hp, 564 pound-feet of torque, a top speed of 112 mph, and a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds. The I-Pace has about the same horsepower. And the Model X 75D offers a whopping 116 more.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

But the new Mercedes does beat its competition in torque, as it offers 52 pound-feet more than its closest competitor, the I-Pace. While top speeds over 100 mph shouldn’t matter in real-world use, both the I-Pace and Model X are faster.

Zero-to-sixty times under 5 seconds are plenty quick for real-world driving. The Model X matches the EQC at 4.9 seconds, and the I-Pace just edges them both out at 4.5 seconds.

All-Wheel Drive

The EQC 400 is powered by two electric motors, one on each axle. This creates an AWD system, which allows the vehicle to perform in a variety of weather conditions. It also offers a longer range or sportier driving characteristics depending on the driver settings.

Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 Pricing

No pricing has been announced yet for the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400, but don’t expect it to be inexpensive. The current GLC 300 starts at about $40,000 and can be optioned all the way up to $80,000.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

For reference, the Jaguar I-Pace runs between $70,000 and $80,000. The Tesla Model X 75D starts at $80,000 and can cost as much as $140,000.

P.S.: Is anyone else tired of all these crazy alphanumeric car names? With the big PR and marketing firms they employ, you’d think automakers would be able to come up with some creative, memorable titles. Even within a given brand, it’s hard to keep them all straight.

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